World Health Organization

specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established in 1948 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The flag of the World Health Organization.


  • Infectious diseases do not employ multinational public relations firms. There are no front groups to promote the spread of cholera. Mosquitoes have no lobbyists. The evidence presented here suggests that tobacco is a case unto itself, and that reversing its burden on global health will be not only about understanding addiction and curing disease, but, just as importantly, about overcoming a determined and powerful industry.
  • Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease, and so the R&D Blueprint explicitly seeks to enable cross-cutting R&D preparedness that is also relevant for an unknown “Disease X” as far as possible.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that administers Wikipedia, announced today a collaboration to expand the public’s access to the latest and most reliable information about COVID-19. The collaboration will make trusted, public health information available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license at a time when countries face continuing resurgences of COVID-19 and social stability increasingly depends on the public’s shared understanding of the facts...Wikipedia volunteer editors, many of whom are from the medical community, have been creating, updating, and translating Wikipedia articles with information from reliable sources about the pandemic. As one of the top ten sites in the world, studies have shown that Wikipedia is one of the most frequently viewed sources for health information.

Quotes about

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global health, social and economic crisis. Historical comparisons are few, particularly in recent decades. This tragedy constitutes nothing less than a trial for all humanity. [...] The WHO has been financially weakened for the past several decades, and is now largely dependent on private donors, with 80 percent of its funding coming from private businesses or foundations. But despite its weakened condition, the WHO could have still provided an initial framework for global cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, not only because of the reliable information it had gathered since the beginning of January, but also because its recommendations for radical and early control of the epidemic were ultimately correct.
  • According to the Director-General of the WHO, the choice to abandon systematic testing and contract tracing, which were effective in Korea and Taiwan, was a major mistake that contributed to the spread of the virus in virtually every country. The ultimate cause of this alarming delay were strategic choices. Italy was quickly forced to adopt a strategy of absolute confinement in order to halt the epidemic, as China had previously done. Other countries waited far too long to react, largely on the basis of the fatalist and crypto-Darwinian strategy of "herd immunity." Boris Johnson's United Kingdom was entirely passive in its initial approach, and other countries equivocated and delayed their restrictive measures, such as France and Germany, not to mention the United States. By adopting a strategy of "mitigation," or epidemic delay by "flattening the curve," these countries have de facto renounced any serious attempt to keep the virus under control from the start through the use of systematic screening and general confinement of the population, as was done in Wuhan and Hubei province. According to the forecasts of the German and French governments, the strategy of collective immunity necessitates 50 to 80 percent contamination across the entire population. This amounts to accepting the deaths of hundreds of thousands — even millions — of people who are supposedly the "most fragile." All the while, the WHO's recommendations were very clear: states must not abandon systematic screening and contact tracing of anyone who tests positive for the virus.
  • The delays the WHO experienced in declaring a public health emergency cost valuable time tremendous amounts of time; more time was lost in the delay it took to get a team of international experts and to examine the outbreak which we wanted to do which they should have done. The inability of the WHO to obtain virus samples to this date has deprived the scientific community of essential data. New data that emerges across the world on a daily basis points to the unreliability of the initial reports and the world received all sorts of false information about transmission and mortality. The silence of the WHO on the disappearance of scientific researchers and doctors and new restrictions on the sharing of research into the origins of COVID-19 in the country of origin is deeply concerning especially when we put up by far the largest amount of money, not even close. Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained as a source with very little death, very little death, and certainly very little death by comparison. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead the WHO willingly took China's assurances to face value, and they took it just at face value and defended the actions of the Chinese government, even praising China for its so-called transparency. I don't think so. The WHO pushed China's misinformation about the virus, saying it was not communicable, and there was no need for travel bans. They told us when we put on our travel ban a very strong travel ban, there was no need to do it. Don't do it; they actually fought us. The WHO's reliance on China's disclosures likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases worldwide, and it may be much more than that.
Joe Kernen: Okay. And President Xi-- there's just some-- talk in China that maybe the transparency isn't everything that it's going to be. Do you trust that we're going to know everything we need to know from China?
Donald Trump: I do. I do. I have a great relationship with President Xi. We just signed probably the biggest deal ever made. It certainly has the potential to be the biggest deal ever made. And-- it was a very interesting period of time time.
  • President Trump announced at the White House coronavirus news briefing in the Rose Garden on Tuesday that the United States will immediately halt all funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), saying it had put "political correctness over lifesaving measures." Also at the briefing, the president said plans to ease the national economic shutdown were being finalized, and that he would be "authorizing governors to reopen their states to reopen as they see fit." At the same time, Trump made clear that he was not going to put "any pressure" on governors to reopen.
  • Oxfam has urged all three vaccine manufacturers to share their technical know-how with the World Health Organization (WHO) to leverage the world’s full manufacturing capacity and support regionally based production as a means to increase the overall supply, reduce on-the-ground distributional challenges, and respond to the desire of low- and middle-income countries to produce doses for their own citizens. “If Moderna worked with us, we could submit the WHO’s COVID-19 Vaccine mRNA Technology Transfer hub’s vaccine for approval at least one year sooner, which would save lives, decrease the risk of variants, and reduce the pandemic’s economic toll,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, in his unprecedented presentation of the Oxfam resolution to Moderna shareholders via a pre-recorded statement. “We urge Moderna to share technology and know-how with the WHO hub and commit to not enforcing patents for COVID-19 and other essential vaccines in countries hosting the WHO hub and spokes. We also urge them to offer training to scientists working on those efforts through the Moderna mRNA access program.”

See also



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